afternoon, occupying two hours, with an audience still crowding the chamber as on the first day. He discussed the proposed remedies,—rejecting the remedy of tyranny espoused by Douglas
, and supporting that of Seward
, which was the admission of Kansas
as a State under the Topeka Constitution
He reviewed at length the instances in which Congress had declined to insist on any strict rule as to population, and had waived informalities in proceedings for the formation of a State constitution, particularly in the quite analogous case of Michigan
, with the sanction of high Democratic authority,—Jackson, Buchanan
, and even Pierce
's absurd proposition to ‘serve a warrant on Sharpe
's rifles,’—seizing, against the plain letter of tie Constitution, the weapon which ‘has ever been the companion of the pioneer, and under God his tutelary protector against the red man and the beast of the forest,’—he said:—
And yet such is the madness of the hour, that, in defiance of the solemn guaranty in the amendments to the Constitution that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the people of Kansas are arraigned for keeping and bearing arms, and the senator front South Carolina has the face to say openly on this floor that they should be disarmed,—of course, that the fanatics of slavery, his allies and constituents, may meet no impediment.
Sir, the senator is venerable in years; he is reputed also to have worn at home, in the State he represents, judicial honors; and he is placed here at the head of an important committee occupied particularly with questions of law; but neither his years nor his position, past or present, can give respectability to the demand he makes, or save him from indignant condemnation, when, to compass the wretched purposes of a wretched cause, he thus proposes to trample on one of the plainest provisions of constitutional liberty.
Near the end of his speech he recurred to the senators who had led the debate on the other side:—
With regret I come again upon the senator from South Carolina [Mr. Butler], who, omnipresent in this debate, overflows with rage at the simple suggestion that Kansas has applied for admission as a State, and with incoherent phrase discharges the loose expectoration of his speech, now upon her representative, and then upon her people.
There was no extravagance of the ancient parliamentary debate which he did not repeat, nor was there any possible deviation from truth which he did not make, with so much of passion, I gladly add, as to save him from the suspicion of intentional aberration.
But the senator touches nothing which he does not disfigure with error,—sometimes of principle, sometimes of fact.
He shows an incapacity of accuracy, whether in stating the Constitution or in stating the law, whether in details of statistics or diversions of scholarship.
He cannot ope his mouth but out there flies a blunder.
Surely, he ought to be familiar with the life of Franklin;